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Subject: Good informational film for the American WWII audience.
The film did a good job informing the American citizens about black marketing during World War II. The actor playing the lawyer must have studied the gestures and inflections of F.D.R., for he certainly uses them.
Subject: Hey buddy... wanna buy a cow?
This dandy, though laughably-acted, short teaches us how profiteers took advantage of rationing and price-caps to make a profit on illegal beef. And what could be more American than that? Jeez, these days, they'd be given Cabinet seats.
Best scene: a dirty, filthy butcher spills his guts after being reminded that--oh yes--he's got a son in the Army, who wouldn't approve of such things. Musta forgot.
Subject: Illicit soupbones
This stiff little "drama" asks the viewer not to indulge in under-the-table wartime purchases of meat (or tires, gasoline, shoes, etc). And once again, bad acting and writing come together to form entertainment!
Unfortunately, the filmmakers neglected to overdub the dismally-recorded sound, so this is a bit of a strain on the ears. Still, it's classic WWII stuff.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRESENTS...
This film has an imposing beginning: ÂTHE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRESENTS" appears over scary, dramatic music. I've seen lots of government films, but none that begin that way. That would make a great opening sequence for just about any film or video you'd care to make. It begins a rather poorly-made film about black market meat trafficking during World War II. The entire film is narrated by a U.S. attorney addressing a jury in a very echoey courtroom. He presents a conspiracy by several shady-looking businessmen (who sit in the courtroom wiping sweat from their faces and looking generally nervous throughout the film) to buy and sell meat under the table at inflated prices. By an incredible coincidence, the ringleader of the racket is named Mr. A and his cronies are named Mr. B, Mr. C, Mr. D, Mr. E, and so forth all the way down the alphabet. Scenes are shown of members of the racket, who all dress, smoke, and generally act like gangsters, making shady deals with local butchers in the most suspicious-looking ways possible ("Got another 'soup bone' for me this week, mister (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more)?"). A title card at the end of the film tells us that all the people in the film are really law-abiding, decent folks who volunteered to help their country by portraying the "chiseling saboteurs" in this film. So I guess they were just kidding. I'm sure there really was some black market activity during the war, but this film is as unconvincing as all get-out.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: No no no, Not marketing to blacks!
A very interesting, but badly titled (at least for today) piece about the "black marketers" that were prevelant around World War II (and still around today), A beef racketeering group starts up, jacking up prices for beef and annoying some people when butchers want cash instead of ration stamps for their beef. The perpatrators of this are all put to trial. Astonishingly acted by (I'm guessing) amateurs who "are law abiding citizens who volunteered to show how black markets work", the main actor is the "lawyer" who puts in quite a dramatic performance that I was almost sure, until the end the guy was actually in court. The end IS kind of befuddling, when he turns to talk to the camera, but sort of adds to the charm of the whole piece. Highly reccomended!
Subject: Wartime black market drama
This film dramatizes a conspiracy to sell black market beef.
Black market beef? Beef is legal! Well, true, but with wartime rationing it was a different story.
Pretty good story, tied together by the "prosecutor's" monologue. The prosecutor talks to the public at the end to urge civic responsibility.
Good picture, decent sound, run time:10:50